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Travel

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A visit to Los Angeles isn’t complete without a trip to Disneyland.  I love it, the kids love it, everyone loves it…who wouldn’t? I don’t/can’t ride on everything, well okay, I don’t/can’t ride on too many things, all right, I admit it, I hardly ever ride on anything.  I can manage Dumbo, because sitting in an elephant is easy,  and the Mad Hatter’s Tea party because it’s obviously comfortable in a giant teacup.  Anything higher or bumpier than that just makes me feel awful.  And yes, I have to take something when I fly, or sail, and I can’t even sit in the back seat of a car. We were in a hurry to get…well everywhere. We had to meet Minnie. And the other characters. And L.J couldn’t possibly miss having a daring adventure. And then, naturally, a hug with Pinocchio’s Daddy was in order. Moving right on to… Where…

We were headed for the City of Angels and ran into challenges, with a short delay, in airline terms, of an hour and a half, due to mechanical failure.  Airline speak for one of the overhead bins is broken.  It took two engineers an hour and a half to tape the bin.  I wish they’d told me what the problem was, I’m a dab hand and taping things and could have done it in five minutes.  Oh well. The connecting flight left without us, probably the first time ever that I’ve seen the departure board say… flight departed… when it was my flight.  I found it a little disconcerting and disheartening and maybe a teeny bit demoralizing all at the same time.  We had made great plans. Up at four thirty in the morning to get a really, really early flight, get to LA at a decent time and…blah blah…

So here I am, a very unhappy twelve year old.  Living in the middle of an old volcanic crater amidst steaming heat and sand. We settled into school, as best as we could.  Changing schools becomes so much harder as you get older.  Everyone has settled into their friendships, their comfort zones and making room for a newcomer isn’t necessarily on their agenda.  Oh well. But I continued to amuse myself,  wandering around the souks and bazaars fascinated by the sights, the smells, the noise.  Food on stands displayed openly, covered in flies and the dust of exhaust fumes from the old cars that made their way slowly down the narrow streets. Green spittle was everywhere.   Khat, I later learned was something of a narcotic plant, that was chewed and the residue spat out and it didn’t seem to matter where.  But perhaps there was an order to it that…

If you’ve read my bio you’ll know that we travelled a lot.  As a kid, we moved every two years…home, school, towns, even countries.  It was exhilarating and sometimes hard.  Having to make new friends every couple of years became a really big challenge. When I was twelve we arrived here:  This is Aden, Yemen.  OMG was my first thought.  Actually, no it wasn’t,  I was twelve,  it was much more OMG, OMG, OMG what am I doing here.  I cried.  Of course it was all about me.   This must be the ends of the earth I’d heard people talk about…as in “I’d go to the ends of the earth for you.”  Well here we were. This place was built in the middle of an extinct volcano.  A crater.  Rock, rock and more rock.  Nothing green growing anywhere.   And hot.  There were days when it was 110 degrees and that…

I am truly blessed that this is home, where our Little Sprite holds baby alligators and mangroves thrive. I’m even grateful for the excessive heat in Summer because as my Darling One says, it keeps us loose.  And although I think it’s just his way of putting a positive spin on it, I can happily accept it as a good thing. I live where Pelicans sit dreaming of catching many, many large fish. And beaches glisten with silver sand. And yachts lie graceful upon blue waters. When I first arrived in America and used to walk on this lovely beach with the sun warm upon my back I would say to myself – never, ever forget the blessings you have right here and now. I’d like to say I have always remembered, but it wouldn’t be strictly true.  Does it count that I have mostly remembered? And this used to…

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